How to use ‘dito’ and ‘rito’ correctly

Published August 25, 2020, 9:04 PM

by Jules Vivas

Relearning part of our basic Filipino language, and a profile of our artist at work, Jean Getubig, the woke student you should aspire to be

August in the Philippines is Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa or the national language month. While the month is coming to a close, the spirit of nationalism and learning is much alive.Whether it’s our basic rights, our land, our freedom, or our language, protecting the essence of being Filipino has been a long-standing endeavor.

A commendable effort by the local government unit of Manila in keeping the Filipino culture alive is its recent installation of various Baybayin signage placed at the entry and exit points of the newly renovated Lagusnilad underpass. The idea and its implementation were a huge success, since it is being talked about now, and people are starting to take notice and appreciate more the old Filipino writing system.

Our efforts do not have to be huge, in fact, it is the little things that normally make the most impact.

Everyone plays a significant role in spreading cultural awareness and advancing national identity. Again, we start small, first with ourselves, by deepening our understanding of our own language.

A praiseworthy student Jean Viktoria Getubig reminds us of the distinction of the words rito and dito with her artwork titled Nandito? Narito? The multimedia arts student from De La Salle-College of St. Benilde made the two-part digital art for her school homework, which has become viral online.

“Our lesson was about Filipino grammar, and we were tasked to create a comic applying what we learned,” she explains. In her lesson, the professor showed examples of actual public signage that failed to apply the correct usage of Filipino grammar. Among the examples shown were “Load na dito” and “Pumila ng maayos.”

“The most common sign I would see in public were those that said Bawal Umihi Dito. I would see that sign almost everywhere, and I would always feel the urge to correct it. So I thought it would be fun to incorporate that concept into my comic,” says Jean, also a musician and a filmmaker.

Here’s a brief lesson on the proper usage of raw, daw, dito, and rito.

1. Use rito, rin, roon, raw, at rine when the word preceding it ends in a patinig (vowels) a, e, i, o, u, or malapatinig (semi-vowels) w and y.


Bawal umihi rito.
Pasaway rin talaga siya.
Sa banyo raw siya umihi

2. Likewise, if the preceding word ends in katinig (consonant) use dito, din, doon, daw.


Iihi ka rin dito?
Wag daw riyan.

3. When starting a sentence, use dito and doon.


Dito ba tayo ji-jingle?
Doon nalang sa c.r.

4. An exemption to the rules above is when the word ends in ra, re, ri, ro, ru, and raw, in which case, use daw and din.


Palabiro daw siya.
Araw-araw din siya nagbibiro.

“Although small grammatical corrections don’t seem to be a big deal to others, I think that correct Filipino grammar is always critical. Because there might be other people who would assume that those grammatical mistakes are correct. I think that’s an important thing to remember this Buwan ng Wika,” she adds, detailing the rationale behind her work.

People were moved by the simple illustration that Jean posted in her professional Facebook account. The art has had more than 12,000 engagements and shares. “A day after I posted the comic, I was overwhelmed to see the number of interactions it gained. Because of this comic, my art page reached from 400 likes to 7,000 just after a day! It was nice to see people finding it relatable and having further discussions about Filipino grammar in the comments,” she intimates.

“Other than being a platform to showcase my art, my page serves as a personal motivator. When I realized that there were friends and other people who genuinely liked to see more of my work, it made me feel motivated to keep on creating,” Jean beams.

The 21-year-old student has always been passionate about art. She began drawing traditionally with just a pencil and paper when she was a kid. She tried her hand at painting in grade school, and started digital art in high school.

Everyone plays a significant role in spreading cultural awareness and advancing national identity. We start small, first with ourselves, by deepening our understanding of our own language.

“My advice for the Filipino youth and aspiring artists like me is to never let any intrusive thoughts hinder them from doing what they love,” said Jean who admits she struggles with anxiety.

“A lot of those times, it’s my own thoughts that slow me down and bring down my confidence. But I always try my best to fight those thoughts, and I remind myself that there will always be people out there who care about you,” she muses.

“As an artist, it’s great to surround yourself with diverse and supportive people in the art community. It doesn’t matter how many notifications you get or how long you’ve been an artist. Artists do not view art as a competition. Fellow artists uplift each other and grow from what we learn from one another,” she says. “I also believe that, as Filipino artists, we must remember that, aside from being a medium for self-expression, art is a powerful tool to amplify knowledge.”